Trojan Center making dining safer for students

Brady Talbert

Staff Writer

The Trojan Center food court added more outdoor seating last week following some COVID-19 concerns expressed by students. 

“Has anyone else thought about how awful and dangerous TC is (going to) be this year, especially during the first couple weeks of classes,” Nicholas Bush posted in the “Troy Students” Facebook group on Aug. 9.  

“There are still literal hundreds packed in there practically shoulder to shoulder on a normal day during lunch hours,” Bush said, adding to the voices of some concerned about a bustling food court atmosphere. 

Alongside social distancing markings on the floor and hand sanitizer stations, a tent with more than 10 new tables was pitched to provide students with more space outside to eat in the open air. 

“There’s a lot more tables out here, so if there’s too many people in TC – and its full in there –people can come out here and eat outside,” said Tommy Benjamin,  a sophomore computer science major from Panama City, Florida, adding that he still feels safe dining in the Trojan Center. 

“I agree that there was definitely not enough tables inside,” said Bailey Faulkner, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Venice, Florida. “I really appreciate the university listening to our concerns and taking action immediately.”

Faulkner said she has seen some students ignoring the social distancing markings, but she still feels secure in the food court. 

“I do feel safe sitting at the tables, and there’s been a few times when people have come up and asked people to step on the stickers to make sure that we are social distancing,” she said. 

The university’s food vendor, SODEXO, said an app is in the works to allow students to further social distance and order from their mobile devices. A release date was not provided. 

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